Projects - Regional

Effective July 1, 2022 Southside Planning District Commission will oversee and manage the active portions of the Tobacco Heritage Trail system on behalf of Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails, Inc. Activities are expected to include trail coordination (customer services, volunteer coordination, social media, permitting), general assistance, information and mapping systems, and finance management. This arrangment covers the active Tobacco Heritage Trail system throughout Southside Virginia.

Project funds will be used to 1) Construct an 11,000 square foot building on the pre-graded vacant lot adjacent to the existing SOVA Innovation Hub building at 715 Wilborn Ave., South Boston, VA, and 2) Complete site infrastructure to support environmentally-sustainable practices and agriculture and technology demonstration areas. The new building will include the following key components:

- A Digital Makerspace will host programs by content partners (CodeVA, etc.) to deliver a wide range of educational programs (e.g. computer science, design thinking, etc.) that will be open to the public, with opportunities for all skill levels and ages to support digital transformation, digital content creation, and technical skills development. Digital makerspace programs will support regional economic development through collaborative partnerships (e.g. SOVA Innovation Hub is working with CodeVA to develop computer science programs that will be shared with other hubs.

- Multi-purpose community spaces and coworking offices will meet the dynamic needs of the rural population, ranging from single-person office space for remote workers to temporary or intermittent offices and meeting spaces for students, entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profits, and the general public, as demonstrated by the SOVA Innovation Hub’s existing coworking space, where the offices are at 100% capacity with a waiting list and meeting space demand is rising.

- Outdoor spaces will be infused with technology and small agricultural demonstration areas will be used to highlight precision agriculture techniques and advanced digitization and monitoring and management of crop yields and various digital solutions on how to improve agricultural production in the localities, in partnership with relevant organizations.

Once complete, the project will provide the missing infrastructure needed to grow the regional entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. The SOVA Innovation Campus is a unique project that will facilitate mass collaboration among regional and state partners and has the potential to become a center of excellence and connection to catalyze transformational economic change across the larger Southern Virginia region.

cover image of SSPDC's 2045 Rural Long-Range Transportation PlanThe 2045 Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan was officially adopted by the SPDC on January 23, 2020.  The plan includes data relating to demographics, land use, transportation goals, and numerous inventories related to the region's transportation network.  However, the most notable sections of the plan contain transportation recommendations based on the results of a prioritization matrix and also the inclusion of vision projects.  The prioritization matrix (an Excel spreadsheet that scores each recommended improvement) was utilized to identify those transportation projects throughout the region that are best positioned to receive support and funding during future grant cycles, most notably the Virginia Department of Transportation's Smart Scale program.  The prioritized recommendations are mapped according to their ranking and a brief overview is provided.  Vision projects represent those transportation projects deemed important by local jurisdictions but lack the necessary data points to be fairly scored by the prioritizaton matrix.  Common examples include new roadways, roadways with insufficient data, sidewalks, and multi-use trails.

pdf 2045 Rural Long Range Transportation Plan. (8.45 MB)

The Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan was recognized by FEMA as officially approved on September 2, 2020. This plan is updated on a five-year cycle and establishes regional and local hazard mitigation goals and strategies.  By being proactive and putting mitigation measures into place, risk to life and property can be reduced, or possibly eliminated, thus creating a more safe and resilient community.  As part of the planning process community resources/facilities were inventoried, hazards were identified and analyzed, and mitigation actions were determined to help offset adverse effects from disasters and other harmful events.  Input was collected from the public, safety officials, representatives from local governments, and other community stakeholders.

pdf Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan (29.50 MB)